Water Management

Water and you

We all need water. Our bodies are approximately 50%-60% water by weight depending on age and gender.

Your body uses water in all of its cells, organs, and tissues to help control your temperature and maintain functions. You lose water when you breathe, sweat, and digest food. So it’s very important to drink and eat food that contains water.
 

Water Cycle

Water continually moves through the natural water cycle, from the earth to the atmosphere and back again.

  • Evaporation is the process by which the sun’s warmth causes water to change from a liquid to a vapour.
  • Condensation is the process by which water vapour in the air changes to liquid water. Condensation is how clouds are formed.
  • Precipitation is the water being released from the clouds in the form of rain, sleet, snow, or hail.
  • Percolation is the movement of water through the soil. For example where rain seeps underground, travelling downwards by gravity.
  • Transpiration is the process in which plant roots absorb water and then release water as vapour through their leaves.
     

Water Quality

Melbourne has some of the highest-quality drinking water in the world. Most of our drinking water comes from forests high up in the Yarra Ranges.

Many of Melbourne’s reliable water resources were established decades ago.

 

 

Water Supply and Storage

What are our current water storage levels?

Our water storage levels always change. Melbourne Water has the latest information.

 

Where does our drinking water come from?

City West Water's What We Do video explains where your water comes from. City West Water is Brimbank's drinking water, recycled water, and sewerage services, provider. 

To get to your tap, water travels through reservoirs, treatment plants, and many kilometers of pipes. Brimbank owes its prosperity and growth in part to healthy water resources.

 

Factors affecting water supply

Water storage levels can drop quickly due to ever increasing pressures such as:

  • climate change;
  • population growth;
  • logging; and
  • economic development.

Our climate is now characterised by

  • Longer and drier periods;
  • greater temperature extremes; and
  • more intense storm events. 

All these factors dry out the land, affect rainfall patterns, and reduce how much water enters our reservoirs, affecting our water storage levels. Hotter drier conditions also increase the risk of bushfires, placing further pressure on our drinking water supplies.

Logging occurs within four of Melbourne’s water supply catchments, including the Thomson catchment that provides most of our water and is critical to our water security.

Logging in the Thompson catchment is causing water loss equivalent to the amount used by 250,000 Melbournians each year.

 

What role does the Victorian Desalinisation Plant play?

The Victorian Desalination Plant was built in 2012 near Wonthaggi. It plays a critical role in helping to secure our water supply and can deliver up to one-third of Melbourne’s annual water needs. But it comes with a very high economic and environmental cost.

The Desalination Plant removes salt from seawater to create high-quality drinking water. Take a birds-eye tour of the plant or find out how it works.

Water Management – What you can do

Brimbank is a growing municipality. There are more and more pressures on our precious water supplies. Freshwater scarcity is posing a major problem around the world and we can all do our bit to help secure its future.

What are the current rules and restrictions to help us use water more efficiently?

City West Water has outlined some rules and restrictions for using water responsibly. 
To better prepare your family for a drought, visit their Drought Preparedness Plan.

Target 155

Did you know about the Target 155 campaign? 155 litres is the maximum amount of water each of us should try to use each day. On average Melburnians consume 162L/person/day. In 2018/2019 Brimbank residents consumed 159L/person/day.

Here is how your 159 litres of water is used each day

Image supplied courtesy of City West Water. Figures based on City West Water’s report Residential End Use Measurement Study Aug. 2017-Jul.2018

To save precious water you can be a local hero by

Further information and resources

Taking shorter showers (aim for 4min or less)

Check out Make Every Drop Count Facebook page with their 6 sec video or use your favourite song as a shower timer

 

 

Exchanging your showerhead for a more water-efficient one

Showerhead exchange program

You can swap your existing showerhead for a water-saving showerhead at:

 

Putting your dishes straight in the dishwasher (no rinsing)

Only putting the dishwasher or washing machine on if you have a full load and use the eco settings

For further smart water advice and water-saving videos check out Smart Watermark

Turning the tap off when brushing your teeth

Buying water-efficient products where possible

Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards Scheme (WELS) 

We use the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards Scheme. This scheme uses a six-star rating system to rate a product's water efficiency. Check the star ratings of your water appliances to help reduce your bill and save water.

 

Installing a rainwater tank and connecting to your toilet and/or garden

Checking out what size rainwater tank best suits your home

Using your grey water on the garden (using an enviro-friendly detergent)

Go to Make Every Drop Count for more ideas on saving water

Plant flowers that use less water and water your garden at dusk or dawn

Mulching your garden to reduce evaporation by up to 70%

Sustainable Gardening Australia has more water conservation and irrigation ideas

 

 

 

What can you do to help?

Measure your water use at home to conserve water. Check your latest City West Water bill or use an interactive online calculator.

Check out City West Water for more ways to save money on your water bill.

If you speak English as an additional language (EAL) there are resources for you to learn about water and understand your water bill in your language

Did you want to know more about what we’re doing to save water and improve Brimbank’s waterways? If so visit how Brimbank is saving water and improving the quality of our water.

 

Improving the quality of our water

‘Stormwater’ is a surface run-off from rain and storm events that enters the drainage system. The water picks up pollutants like litter, leaves, sediment, and oils. See the Environmental Protection Authority's for types and causes of stormwater pollution.

 

You can be a local hero of waterways!

How can we protect our waterways and reduce pollutants in stormwater?

  • Checking your stormwater drains and making sure they are clear of litter and waste
  • Using eco-friendly fertilisers and pesticides in the garden
  • Dispose of your waste water properly, which includes not allowing chemicals like paint, vehicle wash water or fertilisers onto the road or hard surfaces like footpaths
  • Building a raingarden/swale
  • Having ‘permeable’ paving such as pebble paths and lawns to help capture and slowly release stormwater
Saving water in the community including businesses and schools

Business

Are you a local business looking to

  • Save water?
  • Dramatically improve water efficiency?
  • Discover best practice guidelines to reduce your water bills?
  • Measure your water use against other businesses?
     

You can check out:

Or do you need funds to create a large scale irrigation project or water conservation project? Find out more about funding environmental upgrades at Better Building Finance.
 

Community

Community action: Connect with your local waterways

 

Community Funding

If you’re a volunteer/community group wanting to protect local rivers/creeks, Melbourne Water has guidelines on how you can be eligible for funding.

 

School Resources

  • National Water Week is 16-22 October. Enter your students in a poster competition reflecting water-related issues.
  • Check out our sustainable online school water resources.
  • City West Water offers
    • classroom incursions throughout the school year,
    • DIY presentations,
    • curriculum resources and
    • downloadable classroom worksheets.
  • Schools Water Efficiency Program (SWEP) is a fantastic resource that helps you save water and money. SWEP provides data loggers to all Victorian schools which are used to track water usage, detect leaks and promote water education in schools.
  • Take a tour at Melbourne Water’s education centre or view their virtual tour of the Western Treatment Plant. You can also find
    • lesson plans;
    • activity sheets;
    • tips on saving water at school; and
    • learn about the water cycle using their interactive tour.
    • You can:
Victorian Energy Upgrades

Save money on the installation of energy-efficient products, reduce your energy bill, and help the environment by getting involved in Victorian Energy Upgrades.
 

Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards Scheme (WELS) 

We use the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards Scheme. This scheme uses a six-star rating system to rate a product's water efficiency. Check the star ratings of your water appliances to help reduce your bill and save water.

 

Improving the quality of our water

‘Stormwater’ is a surface run-off from rain and storm events that enters the drainage system. The water picks up pollutants like litter, leaves, sediment, and oils. See the Environmental Protection Authority's for types and causes of stormwater pollution.

 

You can be a local hero of waterways!

How can we protect our waterways and reduce pollutants in stormwater?

  • Checking your stormwater drains and making sure they are clear of litter and waste
  • Using eco-friendly fertilisers and pesticides in the garden
  • Dispose of your waste water properly, which includes not allowing chemicals like paint, vehicle wash water or fertilisers onto the road or hard surfaces like footpaths
  • Building a raingarden/swale
  • Having ‘permeable’ paving such as pebble paths and lawns to help capture and slowly release stormwater
Water Management – What Brimbank is doing

How are we saving water and improving Brimbank's water quality?

We’re committed to integrated water management. Our vision is to create ‘a water sensitive city with healthy waterways’. Through our Sustainable Water Management Strategy (2013-2023), we're aiming to reduce our current

  • Alternative Water sources: Our target is to
  • reduce water sensitive urban design (WSUD) assets

Our Water Strategy aims for good water stewardship (using water wisely) and water quality (healthy waterways). Our focus since the Strategy’s adoption has been to diversify irrigation water supplies by harvesting and using stormwater.

We’re aiming reduce our current drinking water consumption by 56ML to get down to only 281ML by 2022/23.

 

Alternative Water Sources

Our target to irrigate over 70 per cent of our playing fields and open spaces from alternative sources. We’re currently at 21 per cent and on track to meet a target of 50 per cent by 2022/23.

We manage four stormwater harvesting systems that reduce our reliance on potable water supplies.

It makes Brimbank’s open space more resilient to the impacts of drought and water restrictions.

These harvesting systems are at Cairnlea, Green Gully Reserve, Keilor Recreation Reserve, and Keilor Golf Course. We have another system at our Keilor Operations Centre for washing vehicles and garbage trucks.     

In 2018/19, Council’s stormwater harvesting systems saved over 62ML of drinking water (or enough to fill 24 Olympic swimming pools).

In 2020, a new stormwater harvesting system will be completed at Balmoral Park in Derrimut.    

 

Water Quality

To reduce the amount of stormwater pollutants reaching our waterways, we’ve installed water sensitive urban design (WSUD). In 2020 Brimbank currently has 94 raingardens, 30 swales, 21 tree pits, and 35 wetlands